The Last Piece of The Rocket Has Arrived!

The final piece of the Ares I-X rocket arrived at KSC on Thursday. The first stage segments trekked their way across the country (2,917 miles!) from ATK in Utah to KSC in Florida. They came by rail car and pulled in Thursday afternoon.

This is a big deal because the motor segments are the last piece of major hardware to ship. Now with the major hardware elements at the launch site, we can really get into stacking and watch the rocket take shape.

These motor segments that we’re using for the first stage are from the space shuttle’s inventory — that is they were originally built for the shuttle. Ares I-X made some modifications and added some new components to make them work for the flight test.

The first stage booster packs a punch too. It can generate 3.3 million pounds of thrust, and we’ll need every bit of that to launch the rocket. The first stage will give Ares I-X it’s lift-off capability and power it through the first 120 seconds of flight. When the motor is spent, it will separate and parachute back to Earth and be recovered and towed back to land to be reused.

8 thoughts on “The Last Piece of The Rocket Has Arrived!”

  1. I can’t wait for this launch. It will be very exciting.I’m really pulling for Ares1-X in the Mission Madness Brackets. It’s the vehicle that will take us into the future of exploration and great science.GO NASA! GODS SPEED ARES!

  2. It is hard to believe that the first Ares test flight is almost here. There must be a lot of excitement among the Ares 1-X team.

  3. I hear that Ares I-X has moved back a bit, does this mean a loss of a July launch and a move to October because of the LON scenario that is playing out with the hubble mission?

    In either case I’m looking forward to the launch, it is going to be exciting

  4. Whats this about a possible push back on the Ares1-X launch? Please let me know. I was planning to be out of Florida but to return in time for the launch July 11, 2009. Keep us posted. This launch is a must see event. Thank You.

  5. I read that actually four of the five Ares I-X booster segments contain propellant, and the fifth is just a mass simulator. But in the actual Ares I rocket, all five segments will contain propellant.

    How does this difference affect characteristics such as flight duration and thrust? And most importantly: why can this Ares I-X vehicle still be compared to the actual Ares I, when it’s flight characteristics are different?

  6. I’d like to know the target date for the launch of Ares 1X as well, if it is different than previously planned. Please advise.


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